Yesterday, a friend asked me to help with the coordination of a wedding in northern Atlanta. It was at a house in Alpharetta horse country. A beautiful setting (the parents home) with a lovely stable and lake in the front and pool in the back of the plantation style home. The tennis court was covered with a tent for the reception and chairs were placed in rows by the pool for the ceremony.
The setting was set when we arrived around 2;30 in the afternoon in anticipation of the nuptials. The bride and groom were consulted about the looming weather as the skies were gray and predictions of rain stemmed from ending at 3 to 7 pm. (ceremony scheduled to start at 6:00) and the church across the road - reserved for such a day- but the bride and groom decided to take their chances and have the wedding at the home. So we proceeded to get ready - the caterer arrived and start setting up the tent for the reception. Shuttle service arrived (oh yeah - guests park at the church across the street and are shuttled down the 3/4 mile drive past the stables and lake) and began to shuttle wedding party - family and guests.
The gray clouds start to produce a mist and sprinkle. 5:45 comes and everyone is arriving with us shuttling them from the shuttle car to the house with umbrella in hand. A decision is made to hold off on the ceremony until 6:30 since the rain is supposed to stop around 6:00 (like mother nature is on any kind of time frame) The 125 guests are now standing around in the 3 rooms that the parents wanted to keep everyone and having an OK time. At 6:15 the father of the groom arrives with 100 feet of plastic to lay in the back yard (which now has water setting in spots and the path from the garage to the tent where the caterers have been using is getting sloppy and muddy. We lay the plastic down to create a path for the catering staff and a path from the back patio of home to the tennis courts (tent) for the guests. At around 6:20 the guests begin to wonder what the plan is??? There is a small break in the rain and so we head out to the pool area and begin to wipe the chairs down with towels. After 1/1/2 rows are wiped - it begins to rain some more. OK on to plan B - Move chairs to the tent for the family and the other guests will make their way to the tent and sit at the tables for ceremony while the family will sit on the edge of the dance floor. The musician- photographer - soloist and minister move to the tent. We move 36 chairs (through the muddy back yard while guests watch and add commentary - thinking we are moving all the chairs to the tent and wondering why we waited so long to make this decision) to the tent and align them in rows for the family and begin wiping them dry with towels. (thanks to the catering staff for their assistance) We finish and then get word that there may be a plan C - Oh my gosh - what now -- The bride and groom decide that they want to get married in the house. The foyer of the home opens up to a grand staircase and at the top there is a balcony walk which is open to the living room area below. A great location to have a ceremony and have all the guests on the main level and the family and wedding party up on the balcony. OK - this means the musician - photographer- soloist - and minister need to come back to the house and set up - We get them back to the house and the ceremony begins and goes off without a "hitch".
During the ceremony we head to the tent to remove the chairs for the reception.
Now the ceremony is over and it is a matter of escorting guest through the muddy back yard with the plastic runner which now has water setting on it and muddy yuck under. Anyone with open toe shoes got wet toes and if you did not you squished in the mud. Not to mention the large rock at the entrance of the tennis courts that posed an obstacle and the large drops of rain coming off the tent right before entering.
All the guests get to the tent and to the catering staffs dismay no guests slipped into the mud on their journey to (or from for that matter) the tent. (yes the catering staff had a pool on how many people would fall on this journey.
The food and music was good. One guest came up to us and share some of the commentary that we did not hear as the guests watched us punt to plan B and then plan C. She was amazed that we still had smiles on our faces even though our shoes were caked in mud. My evening ended chauffeuring (in their car) the newly wed couple (her dress black on the bottom but she did not seem to mind) to the Ritz Carlton (where my car was). They were very happy on how proactive we were and what a wonderful job we did. All in all an experience I had to blog about.